Germany hold off Latvia to reach World Cup semi-finals


Luka Doncic argued with the referees all night - and that's why he wasn't around in the final minutes, as Canada clinched a trip to the Basketball World Cup semi-finals.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points, RJ Barrett added 24 and Canada topped Slovenia 100-89 on Wednesday night, with the win sending Canada into a last-four date with Serbia on Friday.

Star man Doncic had 26 points for Slovenia, but was ejected with six minutes 37 seconds left after picking up his second technical of the game – both of them coming after he argued with referees over calls or non-calls.

Slovenia were down by 15 at the time and wound up getting within nine shortly after Doncic departed, but it wasn't enough.

Doncic ended up returning to the court in flip-flops instead of sneakers as time expired to congratulate Canadian players.

Canada had Dillon Brooks ejected - also after a technical, shortly following Doncic's departure - but made it to their semi-final match with Serbia while the US and Germany will meet in the other last-four match.

The winners of those games will play for the World Cup on Sunday night.

Slovenia were bidding to make the World Cup semis for the first time since the country gained its independence in 1991.

The top two finishers from Europe are guaranteed automatic berths into the Paris Olympics — and with Slovenia now assured of finishing no better than fifth, while Germany and Serbia cannot finish lower than fourth, it's those two nations who'll be heading to France next summer.

Slovenia still have a chance at the Olympics, but will have to win a qualifying tournament next July.

Canada won the silver medal at the 1936 Olympics — and in 22 trips to the Olympics or what's now called the World Cup since, they've not added to that medal collection.

No matter what happens the rest of the way in Manila, this will be Canada's best World Cup finish, having finished sixth at the tournaments in 1978 and 1982.

The first half couldn't have been more even. It was 50-50 after 20 minutes. The biggest lead for each team in the half was exactly four points, and even the rebound total was tied 14-14 at the break. Back and forth they went, with 18 lead changes and six ties in those opening two quarters.

Canada changed everything with a 19-5 run to start the third quarter and kept the lead the rest of the way.

Earlier, Franz Wagner scored 16 points as Germany - the last unbeaten team left in the World Cup - held off Latvia 81-79 in their quarter-final.

The Germans pulled away in the fourth quarter of what had been a back-and-forth contest for the first 30 minutes.

It's set up a rematch with the US, who beat Germany 99-91 on August 20 in Abu Dhabi in what was a fairly meaningless tune-up before the World Cup.

The Germans were third in the 2002 world championships, an event now called the World Cup, and have never placed better than seventh at an Olympics.